Alternative-pop duo of Lo-ghost, Shannon Devy and Evan Strauss. Picture: Supplied
Alternative-pop duo of Lo-ghost, Shannon Devy and Evan Strauss. Picture: Supplied

Sleepless nights pay off as music duo bag their first SAMA

By Asanda Sokanyile Time of article published Aug 14, 2020

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THERE's a new music duo in town and they've just snatched their first South African Music Award (SAMA) in the alternative album category.

The alternative-pop duo of Lo-ghost, Shannon Devy and Evan Strauss started their journey in mid-2016 with a stunning debut video release for “Ghost in a Blood Machine”, the lead single off their first EP “Mother”.

A manifestation of the interplay between love and shame, the video was performed and choreographed by Chester Martinez (FKA Twigs, “Honey 2”) and Devon Marshbank.

Speaking about their latest accolade, Devy said their hard work and sleepless nights paid off: “It was unexpected but extremely exciting, and we are elated and so grateful. We made that album almost entirely in my bedroom, on little-to-no budget, arranged, produced and mixed it ourselves, all the while working multiple jobs, borrowing synths and pulling trade exchanges for any studio time we needed. It was a hard fever dream of a year in the making, and to have it win a SAMA makes us feel really, really proud. When they made the announcement I thought I’d heard wrong, then screamed so loud I lost my voice for three days,” she giggled.

Strauss paused the live stream and took it back a minute to make sure he heard the announcement correctly.

Strauss added that when the pair started the band in 2015, Devy was “a little bit older and much cooler” than he was so whenever the opportunity came up to hang out, chat all things music - and eventually play together he jumped at it with both hands.

“We tried a couple of different sounds together in the course of that year, but eventually found our home in the mutual love we shared for The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’.

Neither of us really had any experience writing electronic-driven music, but we got super excited about the idea of it and - ambitiously - dove straight in, borrowed what we could and leaned on tons of people along the way,” explained Strauss.

Since "Mother", Lo-ghost have released two full-length albums, a podcast series, multiple singles, music videos, a limited-edition vinyl release and multiple live performance videos. They have performed on festival main stages across the country, national television, and embarked on regular local tours.

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